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Ask Dominick Your Own Question
Dominick, Marine Mechanic
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 1009
Experience:  25 Years Experience as Mechanic, 20 Yrs Boat Yard Owner/Mechanic, Factory Certified
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I'm can't get my 1978 mercury 1400 to crank

Customer Question

I'm can't get my 1978 mercury 1400 to crank
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Boat
Expert:  Jeff G. replied 2 years ago.
Ok want to fill me in on what it is doing? Is the engine turning over? What troubleshooting have you done? I need a little more information to help.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
It spins over fine. I put in fresh gas and checked the plug wires. I even tried starting fluid
Expert:  Jeff G. replied 2 years ago.
We will need to do some tests. For these we will need a common voltmeter, even a cheap one will do. A few things. The rotor in the distributor does not pull off. The spark plug wires going into the cap and the lead from the coil screw in so don't try to remove them. The dist cap only goes on one way. Mark it with a marking pen and the clamp that holds it on so you can put it on correctly.Remove the wrap around cowl.On the front support bracket is the switchbox. Next to it on the port side is a small black cylinder. This is a mercury switch, remove it from the engine.Check all the wires that they are in good condition. If the insulation is cracking then the wires are bad internally too and the component will need replacing. Don't try to fix the wires, replace the entire part.You have a battery operated engine, you need a fully charged battery. If the voltage drops too much when cranking you can damage the switchbox and the engine won't start.With these tests we will test voltages on the switchbox.With the assistance of a helper, Put the meter on the red and then the white terminals while cranking the engine, you need at least 10 volts.Check the voltage on the brown terminal while cranking, here you need a minimum of 9 volts.Do these checks and then let me know exactly what you found and we can proceed from there.Thanks

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